During a Hot 97 interview with Complex Magazine staff, Rosenberg stated that Kendrick Lamar’s album, To Pimp a Butterfly (TPAB), is arguably the most artistic, cohesive, and creative album of American music history.
As I visited the west coast, Rosenberg’s comment kept playing over and over in my head as I searched for music that correlated with the emotions I felt in the environment I was in.
Pre my first visit to LA I wasn’t much of a fan of Kenrick’s TPAB album. I didn’t dislike it, I just didn’t fully understand it and never really had the opportunity to indulge in this creative masterpiece with the attention it deserved.
So as I arrive at LAX, I jump in the car and immediately put on the TPAB album. Everything I was expecting it to be, it wasn’t. My mind was completely blown, at this individuals genius to put together an album so different and so ahead of his time, but something very familiar.
First and foremost, it is safe to say TPAB is not a traditional Rap album. The style is so different and diverse, it is too complex to box it into one genre. Kendrick did everything away from contemporary mainstream music and did the complete opposite.
Records like King Kunta, I, and Wesley’s Theory all have strong influences from disco. Records like Institutionalized, Momma, and Hood Politics all have an amazing Dilla feel to it. Whether it’s the drums or the chopped samples, it has a very soulful and nostalgic feel to it.
Experiencing TPAB from the west coast definitely enhanced my experience of the album. The album is overall conscious and woke as could be. Kendrick spoke and several political issues.
I was able to experience the love that Kendrick and the whole TDE camp receive as their hometown heroes because simply LA loves them. They take pride in saying that those are some of the individuals that represent the west coast. An LA resident expressed me to how influential TDE was for the community. He spoke on how TDE held a mobile concert in the back of a truck as they cruised through the residential areas of LA. They described the concert as “powerful” and as something that is very rarely experienced. The concert exemplified the love his followers had for him.
So when Rosenberg states that TPAB is the most artistic album in American music history, the statement can be supported.